Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Shirley F. Campbell
The term Kula Ring refers to the circulation of shell valuables between island communities in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. Bronislaw Malinowski was the first anthropologist to document the exchange in a classic anthropological text, Argonauts of the Western Pacific , written in 1922. Anthropologists working in the latter half of the 20th century have clarified many of the local characteristics of the kula from different island perspectives. Visualizing the exchange as operating within a ring is somewhat misleading, as not all island communities are involved, nor do all communities within islands participate in the exchange, although it could be argued that all people in the Milne Bay are affected to some extent by the exchange. The majority of shell valuables that circulate in ...